politician

Dodging, Artfully

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Glass

I’m not really sure. Too busy noticing the bubbles.

Which is a fairly typical reaction for me – dodging the big question at hand to focus on a largely irrelevant one. It’s one of those rare traits I share with politicians.

Whether the dodge is based on fear, apathy or classic avoidance, it’s gotta be mighty frustrating to the person who just wants a straight answer.

Not necessarily…

I discovered a Harvard Business School research paper that explores what happens when people try to dodge a certain question by answering a different question. Two experiments demonstrated “conversational blindness” (listeners’ failure to notice such dodges). Listeners actually viewed successful question-dodgers as positively as speakers who actually answered the question they are asked. In fact, listeners actually preferred speakers who answered the wrong question well over those who answered the right question poorly.

Unfortunately, that’s just fuel for honing my dodging skills.

So, I repeat: Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Actually, I think it’s just right.

Maybe a career in politics isn’t out of the question.

Read the full paper:
The Artful Dodger: Answering the Wrong Question the Right Way.